Cosafa Cup: Former Orlando Pirates star Mhango headlines Malawi's squad

Gabadinho Mhango of Malawi during the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Afcon.BackpagePix.

Malawi head coach Mario Marinica has named a 23-man squad for the upcoming Cosafa Cup that is scheduled to be played between July 5 and 17 in South Africa.

Former Orlando Pirates forward Frank Mhango – who failed to get enough playing minutes with the Sea Robbers before he completed a move to the Premier Soccer League’s AmaZulu - has been named in the team that includes other foreign-based stars captain John Banda, Peter Banda, and Khuda Muyaba.

After being out of the Flames’ team for six years, Marinica has recalled defender Sankhani Mkandawire while giving uncapped Civil Service United defender Kelvin Kadzinje and Nyasa Big Bullets midfielder Patrick Mwaungulu slots in his final team.

Marinica explained why their Cosafa Cup preparations have not been good so far.

"We have not had smooth preparations as we never had a full camp because of the Super League games, and this has obviously affected our coordination in terms of imparting fast and very fast football to the boys," the Romanian tactician said.

"However, we accepted the situation knowing that the tournament is not on Fifa window, so we have worked with the players according to their availability and so far so good, we are all set for Cosafa.

"We have had chances to assess how our opponents play, and we will approach each match as it is so that we get results.

"We might have different targets with the rest of the teams, but we want to use the Cosafa Cup to build a stronger squad that attacks more, creates goal-scoring opportunities as well as denying scoring chances for our opponents."

Malawi will start their campaign against Lesotho on July 6 before entertaining Eswatini two days later. The Flames will battle Mauritius in their last group game on July 10.

Malawi's full squad:

Goalkeepers: Ernest Kakhobwe, Clever Mkungula,

Defenders: Stanley Sanudi, Paul Ndhlovu, Blessings Mpokera, Gomezgani Chirwa, Precious Sambani, Kelvin Kadzinje, Dan Chimbalanga, Sankhani Mkandawire,

Midfielders: John Banda, Chimwemwe Idana, Peter Banda, Yamikani Chester, Micium Mhone, Chikoti Chirwa, Lloyd Njaliwa, Patrick Maungulu,

Strikers: Frank Mhango, Khuda Muyaba, Stenie Davie, Chikukepo Msowoya, Schumaker Kuwali.

Mhango headlines Malawi squad

Do you think Frank Mhango will replicate his Afcon form in the Cosafa Cup?